A/N: Welcome! This is our very first try in writing a fic, so please be gentle with us.

My name is Holly (a.k.a. NJNYTwiGals-H)

And I'm Pauline (a.k.a. NJNYTwiGals-P)…and together we are known as NJNYTwiGals.

We wanted to pop our fanfic publishing cherry together, so we have come up with a great story that we hope you will follow and enjoy. We plan on alternating between Bella and Edward's pov for now.

Disclaimer: SM own Twilight and its characters. We just want to have fun imagining Edward as a hot firefighter..lol!

So, without further delay, we bring you, "Where There's Smoke"

Chapter 1


There she was, standing in front of the floor length mirror. Staring back at her was a beautiful woman dressed in the most breathtaking white dress. It was nothing too fancy, but nothing too simple by any means- it was just perfect for her. Her hands ran over the smooth silk, fingers tracing over the embroidered lace flowers that were sporadically placed on the bodice of the dress. She couldn't believe that she was actually wearing a dress, let alone a dress whose train seemed to go on for miles miles. Cathedral train is what the ladies at the dress shop told her and she wasn't planning on wearing such an extravagant piece of material, but once she put it on it fit perfectly, as though it was made specifically for her.

Standing off to the right was the bride's mother trying to hold back her tears of joy, as she didn't want to ruin her make-up (pictures, you know!). She was waiting to put on the bride's "something borrowed" around her neck- a beautiful diamond wreath, which hung on a delicate strand of platinum.

She stole one last glance in the mirror to make sure her headpiece was still on straight and her veil was laid perfectly on her head, then she turned to face her mother and her two best friends. They collectively gasped, but no words were exchanged. With a simple nod from the bride, the code for, "I'm ready," she was handed her bouquet of white orchids sprayed with just a dash of silver glitter. She beamed, feeling positively radiant, as she wasn't going to let the butterflies swirling around in celebration in her stomach deter her. She was going to go through with this. She ready to start her new life with the man of her dreams, the man she knew for over twelve years, the man whose name adorned her high school notebooks.

Yes, I, Bella Swan was ready to walk, no run, down the aisle to become Mrs. Jacob Black….


"Fuck!" I screamed as I sat up abruptly, drenched in sweat, to turn off the most annoying sound in the world- my alarm clock. I closed my eyes, willing myself to calm down because I was certain my heart was going to burst out of my chest.

I slowly stepped out of bed and made my way over to the window. Let's see what the Seattle weather has in store for us today. Hmm, cloudy with a little drizzle of rain- shocking. I shuffled across my room and looked in the mirror, wishing I didn't. It looked as though medusa was my stylist, my eyes were bloodshot, and my face and chest were glistening from the sweat that was emitting from my body. In short, I looked like utter shit.

"Man of my dreams my ass!" I muttered to myself.

I peeked over at the clock to check the time and realized I needed to get my ass in gear if I wanted to get to work on time. Today, was the first day of school for me and for twenty-four wide-eyed and eager third graders.

This day marked my fifth year of teaching elementary school, and I was excited to meet my new class. It was going to be a great year and I promised myself that if I got any loose cannons in my class, that I would remain positive and hopeful that I could reach those students. I tended to get the kids who liked to "act up," because everyone else would bitch and complain and threaten to quit at the end of the previous year when we did student placements if they even got a child who spoke out of turn. I never complained, never spoke up, and even though I could have (I mean, I am tenured so I can say whatever I want within reason) I didn't because I felt that as long as one had the patience and determination, you could reach any child on some level. I never wanted my class to be perfect, as no one student is alike, and I always enjoyed the challenge of teaching, so it never bothered me about who I had in my class. Don't sweat the small stuff, right? Apparently, I am the only one on my team who thinks like this.

Once I was showered and dressed in my "first day of school" outfit, which consisted of a slim, black pencil skirt that fell slightly above the knee and a red v-neck light sweater, I darted out of my room and headed towards the most heavenly smell, coffee. Ah, Alice, how I love her so. She knew I needed industrial strength this morning.

Alice is one of my best friends and we have been living with each other since college. We met at the beginning of our freshman year, and I can still remember the way she was bouncing up and down clapping her hands and enveloping me in a strong hug when I walked into our dorm room. She was a bundle of energy and she still is. I'll be honest; I was a little frightened of her vibrancy at first, as I have always been more reserved and perfectly content to blend in with the crowd. But, no not Alice; She knew how to work a room and get attention by the way she flitted about in her eccentric outfits and witty banter. Standing at a mere four feet ten inches, she resembled a petite pixie, with her delicate features and short, spiky, black hair which was a stark contrast against her pale skin. Don't let her size fool you, though. Alice can be one fierce mama when she is angry, but she is a true and loyal person if you are lucky enough to become her friend. Once you join in her little circle of trust, she will do everything in her power to protect you and make you happy.

As I walked down the hall towards the kitchen, I tried not to let my dream, or shall I say recurring nightmare get to me because once I made eye contact with Alice, she would know something was up. That's how well she knew me; one glance is all that it takes for her to tell my mood. I didn't want to start off my first day back at work with a bad attitude.

I was doing really well at hiding my emotions in front of everyone. I was certainly over the crying at a moment's notice phase, but I hadn't perfected my genuine smiley face yet. I just didn't want "the look" from her this morning. I didn't want her to feel like she had to check up on me during the day to make sure I hadn't abandoned my class to wallow in the closet. I mean, it's been four months since the day my world as I knew it came crashing down on me and I was seriously making progress, but evidently not enough progress to warrant my friends to stop making sure I wasn't going to have another breakdown.

You can do this, Bella. Just slap a smile on your face and don't allude to the fact that you are dying inside. I entered the kitchen and grabbed a stool at the counter and flashed a dazzling smile to Alice.

"So, had another nightmare, huh?" asked the little pixie while holding out a huge cup of coffee.

What? How the fuck did she know?

"I heard you moaning and then you screamed, fuck," she stated. I must have had that furrowed brow look on my face that prompted her to explain herself.

I grabbed the cup of coffee from her hands. "Ugh Alice, how do you do that? Just from hearing me say the word fuck, you came to the conclusion that I was dreaming about him again?" I was trying not to let the frustration seep into my voice.

"Don't you know that I can see the future before it actually happens? I knew last night that you were going to dream about that prick again," she quipped taking a bite of her toast.

"Very funny," I deadpanned.

"You dumbass! I knew because whenever that asshole stars in your dream, you scream the word fuck. I mean you have been doing it since it happened four months ago. Don't you remember that first month when I had to sleep with you in your bed you woke up every night saying that then crying about it immediately? I thought you were over this nightmare business." She chided as she was standing with her hands on her hips giving me the look of disappointment.

"Please, Alice, I am trying to forget," I said before I took a sip of coffee. Mmm, hazelnut, my favorite. "And you didn't have to sleep in my bed for a month. You chose to as part of the twenty-four hour vigil you, Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmett took to make sure I wasn't going to do something drastic like call him and beg him to come back to me, or worse, harm myself." I felt my control slipping a bit.

I dropped my head in my hands as I remembered the excruciating pain I felt those first four weeks. My friends were so convinced that I was going to go off the deep end that they took turns babysitting and comforting me, while making sure I ate every couple of hours and bathed myself.

Yeah, it was that bad and I'll admit that even though I feign annoyance when they speak of it now, I was truly appreciative of my friends' level of commitment to me. I probably wouldn't be sitting in my kitchen drinking coffee getting ready to go to work. I would have been locked away in some padded cell rocking back and forth muttering, "fuck," if it wasn't for them intervening like they did.

Immediately, I felt Alice's hands stroking my hair and my back. I turned to face her with tears in my eyes that were waiting to drop any second. One blink was all it took, as two heavy drops stained my freshly made up face.

"Oh, honey, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have given you a hard time," she said as she gently wiped away my tears with her thumbs. She wouldn't want me to have to reapply my mascara, as that would be a catastrophe to her. More like a catastrophe to me, because then she would insist that she help me redo my make-up, only to have me walk out of our apartment looking like I was a model on her way to a photo shoot. Aside, from her flair for the dramatics, Alice has a flair for everything that involves makeovers, hair, clothing, and all accessories. It's even worse when it comes to me because she's never really cared for my fashion sense and my no-nonsense way of applying the bare minimum of make-up.

"It's just that you haven't had one of those walking down the aisle dreams for a few weeks now, so I thought you were over with that phase," she soothed.

"I know. I was doing really well. It must be the stress of my first day back at work. I mean I don't want to face my colleagues because one of them is bound to say something stupid and mention my non-existent wedding to be." I complained as I sniffled a little.

Alice handed me a napkin. "Well, just tell those nosy bitches that you are doing just great and that you would rather not dredge up the past and relive a very private and painful experience, emphasis on the word private. Gosh, don't these girls have anything better to do than try to hassle you for information?"

"Actually, no." I snorted. You see, we work with kids ages five to twelve all day. The only gossip we get is who is not talking to whom anymore or who likes who from the students. So, when we teachers head to the teacher's lounge, we like to talk about grown-up things because we haven't been around another adult for a couple of hours. The lounge is a teacher's version of the office water cooler, and my story is what's hot right now. It doesn't help that everyone knows my non-pending nuptials were supposed to be in two months. Face it, I'm the story of the year, and everyone will inadvertently be giving me attention by just staring to see if they can catch a glimpse of a crack in my façade. I'm going to be put under a microscope, and you know how much I just love the attention," I sighed, my voice dripping with sarcasm, as I got up to place my empty mug in the dishwasher.

"Bells, you know if anyone gives you a real problem, you have Jasper to protect you," Alice reassured.

I was well aware that all I had to do was seek refuge in Jasper's classroom. Jasper was a fifth grade teacher at my school and his room was upstairs from mine. Jasper was also Alice's boyfriend or soul mate as she likes to say.

Jasper and I go way back. We met when I moved to the very small town of Forks, Washington in the seventh grade. My parents had divorced when I was an infant. My mom and dad grew up in Forks and had married right after high school. Being the free spirit that she was, my mother, Renee, decided that she didn't want to be trapped in the dreary rainy town forever. So once I was born, she high-tailed it out of there and moved to Arizona seeking sunshine and freedom, bringing me along for the ride. Once I turned seven, I started to visit my dad, Charlie, who still lived in Forks. He was the police chief there, and still is.

When I was thirteen, Renee married Phil who was a minor league baseball player. Phil liked to bounce around from team to team, causing him to move around a lot. When it was time for him to move again, he had just married mom, which meant we were headed to Florida. My mom actually was really cool and gave me a choice between moving to Florida and moving to Forks to try living with my dad. I chose my dad because even though he is a man of few words, he was loving and an all around great guy, and I moved to Forks shortly after.

That's where I met Jasper and Emmett. Jasper was in one of my classes and we hit it off right away. He showed me around the school, taking me under his wing. I met Emmett through Jasper, as they have been friends since they were babies. Their mothers met each other in some "mommy and me" class.

"I got it Alice. I will call on Jasper if needed, but the thing is, I don't want to have to resort to that at all," I snapped crossing my arms. I can be pretty stubborn when I wanted to be. I wanted to be able to take care of myself without having to be the damsel in distress, and be able to face the vultures that no doubt would swarm around waiting to take a nip at me.

"You know, it's okay to lean on your friends for support. It doesn't make you weak," Alice stated as sidled up to me to give me a one-armed hug.

"Alice, do you realize that that's all I have been doing for all these months is lean on you guys? If I lean any further, I am going to fall to the ground. I'm getting stronger every day, but I just want to be at that point where I am able to not think of him for one day. Shit, I'll take not thinking about what he did to me for one measly hour!" I stormed out to the living room to retrieve my bag throwing it over my shoulder.

When I looked up, I saw that Alice was staring at me while leaning against the wall separating the kitchen and the living room taking a long sip from her coffee cup. I closed my eyes briefly trying to regain my composure, while my clenching my fists at my side.

"Look, I love you Alice, you know I do. But you need to understand that I have to try to not rely on you guys so much." Keep deluding yourself, Bella. "I need to be able to make myself strong without the help of others. I am not the same person I used to be." That's an understatement!

I opened my eyes to look at her. I took a deep breath and stood up straighter. "From here on out, I have to do things for myself and make decisions for myself without everyone's opinions and influences hovering over me. I can't keep allowing my friends to pick up the pieces for me whenever I get a little emotional." Good, now maybe if you say that a hundred more times, you'll actually believe it yourself. I started for the door and opened it.

Alice's voice stopped me before I could leave, "Fine, Bella. Have it your way, I won't tell you how you should handle things. I know you are a big girl," she huffed. "You are like a sister to me, and when you hurt, I hurt," she said shrugging her shoulders. "I don't want you thinking that in order to prove you are moving on and are strong, that you have to go through things alone and not get the help from your friends when needed. That's a shitty way to live, Bella." And with that Alice shook her head, turned around and walked out of the room.

I knew Alice was right and that I was just being a stupid asshole. But I couldn't help it. I am a different person now. I am scarred and jaded beyond repair. How could I rely on anyone when the one person I relied on for so many years just up and walked out of my life forever? How could I not think that getting close to anyone was not a good idea anymore? I mean eventually everyone leaves, right?

I am alone, and probably will be for a very long time. Hell, maybe for the rest of my life- who the fuck knows! There's no use to letting anyone in if all they do is leave you in the end.

A/N: *Collectively lets out holding breaths*

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